Effect of Predator Diet on Predator-induced Changes in Life History and Performance of Anuran Larvae

Effect of Predator Diet on Predator-induced Changes in Life History and Performance of Anuran Larvae

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Titre: Effect of Predator Diet on Predator-induced Changes in Life History and Performance of Anuran Larvae
Auteur: El Balaa, Rayan
Résumé: Phenotypic plasticity allows some animals to change their behavioural, morphological, performance, and life history traits in response to changes in environmental conditions such as the presence of predators. These changes can enhance survival, but come at a cost. Some of these phenotypic changes are predator and diet specific. I examined the effects of predator diet on the performance, life-history, and morphology of developing Northern Leopard Frog (Lithobates pipiens) tadpoles. Tadpoles were either exposed to cues from fish free water, cues from Brown Bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus) fed a diet of trout pellets, or cues from A. nebulosus fed a L. pipiens tadpoles diet. Tadpoles exposed to predatory fish cues had smaller bodies, deeper tail fins, slower growth and development rates, and better rotational performance than tadpoles that were not exposed to predatory fish cues. Moreover, tadpoles appeared to differentiate between predatory fish diet and produced diet-specific responses in tail morphology and activity, although the latter effect was only marginally significant. Hatching, metamorphosis rates, and linear performance were not affected by the treatments. These results suggest that A. nebulosus can induce phenotypic changes in L. pipiens tadpoles, with some of these changes being diet specific.
Date: 2012
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/22790
Superviseur: Blouin-Demers, Gabriel
Faculté: Sciences / Science
Degré: MSc

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